The 2020 Legend Awards are meant to serve as inspiration for future travel—when it is safe to do so. Learn more about this year's awards on our methodology page.
Holistic wellness has exploded on the luxury hotel scene in the last decade. Wellness culture has made some destinations and hotels what they are today. And there has never been more demand for five-star wellness institutes, whether they’re found nestled in the European Alps or on a paradisal island miles off the coast.
Of course, our favorite wellness experiences range from 90-minute treatments to seven-night all-inclusive stays. At five-star medical spas, there’s a focus on scientific practices and anti-aging technology. Meanwhile, spas that tend more toward spiritual healing bring out all the chakra-balancing stops. Nonetheless, there are several trends you’ll see across all the following honorees, whether they lean more spiritual or are more scientifically inclined. They all harness the very best of new technology, finding innovative ways to make the wellness benefits of each treatment last longer. They are all highly customizable, with a significant emphasis not only on luxury, but on personalization. And finally, each wellness experience is informed by the surrounding area, whether leveraging the area’s beauty and rich natural resources, or incorporating the local culture into guests’ spa journey.
These are the 2020 Legend Awards Honorees for best hotel spas and wellness experiences:
Sensei Lana’i, A Four Seasons Resort
The three-night minimum all-inclusive wellness experience at Sensei Lana’i, A Four Seasons Resort is customized by a personal Sensei guide you’re paired with prior to arrival. The guide tailors an easily adaptable itinerary based on your wellness goals, which might feature yoga, meditation, (included) spa treatments, one-on-one training sessions, or group lectures. Guests enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Sensei by Nobu, which features menus crafted by Chef Nobu and inspired by the seasonal produce from the on-island sustainable farm.
The Floating Spa, Monkey Island Estate
Monkey Island Estate, a chic, Georgian-inspired retreat, is newly renovated as of 2019. The seven-acre property sits on a private island in the middle of the Thames. Their Floating Spa is a stunning, refinished boat moored to the island, where guests can experience treatments like the Floating Massage, which takes place on an “aqua-cushion treatment bed,” and harnesses the power of “pain-relieving essential oils of arnica, ginger, and rosemary.”
Visiting Masters Program 2020, Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai
Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai has been hosting world-renown yoga and meditation talent this year as part of their Visiting Masters Program. The Heart of the Earth Spa, is already one of our favorite wellness spots in southeast Asia, thanks to their quartz-crystal treatments and advanced facial offerings. But the Visiting Masters program allows guests to delve deeper into their wellness journey and spirituality, with masters specializing in chakra-balancing, various types of yoga, crystal healing, and meditation.
Grow A New Body In A Week, Six Senses
A new wellness initiative as of late May 2019, Grow A New Body In A Week is a detoxification effort focused on long-term bodily health. This experience combines the power of spirituality and science, using neuroscience and biology while also considering ancient Shaman practices. These retreats were developed in conjunction with Dr. Alberto Villoldo, a medical anthropologist learned in shamanic practices, and are offered at Six Senses Kaplankaya, in Turkey, Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal, and the Cambodian oasis Six Senses Krabey Island.
Performix House, 1 Hotel West Hollywood
1 Hotel West Hollywood, which opened its doors on June 1, 2019 in arguably one of the hottest fitness cities in the country, debuted their Performix House mind and movement studio right off the bat. Partnering with Manhattan’s members-only Performix House, 1 Hotel West Hollywood now has a high-end Performix gym and exclusive sessions with world-class trainers at Performix.
Ginger Healer Treatment, Miraval Resort & Spa
Miraval Resort & Spa offers inclusive packages at both properties—Tucson and Austin—which means limitless mindfulness lectures, fitness classes, and smoothies made with produce grown on-site. One component of the inclusive package is nightly credits that can be used toward spa treatments; we’re partial to their Ginger Healer treatment, which includes a deep tissue massage, a ginger rosemary oil wrap in tandem with a facial massage, and a ginger salt glaze scrub to polish the skin and seal the treatment.
Detox Package, Villa Stéphanie
An Oetker Collection property, Villa Stéphanie is a medical spa striving to bring guests emotional and physical balance. We’d recommend their seven-day Detox Package, which includes a medical examination and blood analysis, lymphatic drainage treatments, thermo-algae mud wraps, personal training, reflexology, and much more.
Nescens Spa Membership, Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa
Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, a luxury property in the Bernese Highlands, is home to the 5,500-square-meter spa Nescens. The spa Nescens is informed by science and medicine, with a specific focus on anti-aging treatments. Their Spa Memberships allows you full access to the spa and workout facilities year-round, and access to Nescens’ anti-aging experts who will build a customized year-long treatment plan just for you.
Soul Seeker, Mii amo
Nestled in Sedona, Arizona, Mii amo brings guests on a three, four, or seven-night healing journey. Their Native American-inspired wellness treatments are a stand-out; we love the Soul Seeker experience, which is guided by a master therapist and involves breathwork and specified imagery to redirect your soul’s energy and ultimately encourages “heightened awareness, a new perspective, or reconnection with your inner self.”
Active Circulation, The Waldhotel at Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort
There are few venues better for wellness than the Swiss Alps. The Waldhotel, part of Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort, has their own Waldhotel Spa, which focuses on a “holistic ‘Healthy By Nature’ concept.” With a Finnish sauna, Haman, stunning indoor and outdoor pools, ice room, salt grotto, and waterbeds, the Waldhotel Spa may very well be your favorite destination in all of Switzerland. Their Active Circulation treatment starts in the cutting-edge Vital Dome lounger, which allows the body to sweat and open the pores, for an “activating and skin-tightening treatment.”